emandink: (ashitonofbooks)
First off, here's the final list of books read in 2009, under this nice LJ cut )

And now for some analysis:
So, definitely met the standing 100+ books goal with 120 unique books last year.
In addition, there were 2 books that I started prior to this year and finished, one that’s part of a mystery series, another non-fiction history of Haitian voodoo.
I gave up on 5 books entirely. Of these, 3 were by authors I’ve read before and enjoyed, including one adaptation from a book I enjoyed originally and one sequel.
As of Jan. 1, I had 5 books still in progress (note that of the 2 started in 2009, 1 I’ve given up on and 1 is completed, but that’s for a year from now). The 3 remaining are from previous years. Maybe this will be the year I actually plow through Ulysses.

I got pretty haphazard about tracking reading with the boy this year. Ultimately, I just started noting books that I would/have read on my own as well. I’m just not up for keeping track of 40 Scooby Doo chapter books.

As for the rest of the analysis:
• 15 of these were rereads, and that doesn’t count that I read 1 book twice.
• 83 were books in series of various kinds.
• In terms of genre, 39 were fantasy (as defined personally), 37 were YA, 19 sci-fi, 22 involved vampires, werewolves or other staples of urban fantasy (I categorized these differently, because Anita Blake just feels different to me than, say, Mists of Avalon), 11 were mysteries
• In terms of form, 5 were short works (usually short stories), 17 were graphic novels and 4 were non-fiction (and 1 of those was a graphic novel)
• Looking at authors, only 8 books were written by authors identified as non-white, 26 total were new to me (accounting for roughly 38 books read) and approximately 58 distinct authors represented overall.

Every year I tend to beat myself up for the fact that I read a lot of genre fiction and not a lot of “classics” or books that are generally heralded as books of substance. But screw that. I read for entertainment and what entertains me are stories about vampires and fictional societies where magic exists in some form and dystopic alien worlds and mysteries where I can lose myself for a while. I could whip out my hairshirt about the fact that I don’t really enjoy biographies and non-fiction much outside of humorous pop-cult essays, but really, why bother. I still read more than probably 90% of the population and I’m teaching my kid to value reading for its own sake and am continuing to discover new sub-genres and authors that I thoroughly enjoy. So, go me. Or something like that.

emandink: (Default)
This time from [personal profile] the_siobhan

By Iconomicon. I'm conflicted about this icon, actually. I initially snagged it because living in a tourist area, there's all sorts of annoying bs that locals have to deal with, and I also find it sort of funny in a "if you're just driving by and seeing this journal, here be dragons" sort of way. Given the likely context of the sign, though, I find it sort of troubling from an imperialist sort of perspective. I'm probably overthinking it.

By Ty at Obsessive Icons. Originally for use with diet posts. Now used more ironically in a "fuck guilt over food" sort of way.

By how_iconic. Found in a search for Doctor Who icons. I love the drama queenie aspect of the text.

By Iconomicon. It makes me giggle.

By Iconomicon - well, iconed by him, anyway. Fun for use in feminist communities, although I'm not really a Marxist feminist by any means.

I don't remember where I snagged this one. It was a couple of years ago when looking for Christmas/winter icons.

Book Meme

Aug. 5th, 2009 11:05 am
emandink: (ashitonofbooks)
From [livejournal.com profile] kakiphony :

Because I always do book memes. Also, even though they are repetitive in nature I think the differences in results each time I do one says something about where I am at in my life.

So, via [info]xanath:
Here are the rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. They don't have to be the greatest books you've ever read, just the ones that stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Copy these instructions and post in your livejournal.

1. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
2. The Westing Game -  Ellen Raskin
3. What Do You Care What Other People Think - Richard Feinman
4. The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury
5. Close to the Knives - David Wojnawrovitz
6. Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
7. From Anna - Jean Little
8. Parable of the Sower - Octavia Butler
9. Mists of Avalon -  Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman
11. The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett
12. The Last Lunar Baedecker -  Mina Loy
13. Who Really Killed Cock Robin - Jean Craighead George
14. The Stranger - Albert Camus
15. Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
emandink: (sexy books)
I started posting this as a comment in a community simply about "good books you've read", but I decided I'd rather post it here where I can actually discuss it with people I care about.

When people ask me about my favorite book, it is impossible for me to answer. I've read too much in my life and have had so many wonderful adventures reading, that there's no way I could choose just one. And my favorite books change like the wind with my moods, with the weather, with the passing hours of the day.

So, instead, I shall create a meme of sorts. Tell me about five books or the books from 5 time periods that have been "favorites" or otherwise been meaningful to you at different times in your life:

1. As a little girl, one book I went back to again and again was From, Anna about a girl in a German family who moved to Canada to escape the Nazis. The adaptation of Anna's family to life in Canada was the framework for the story, but the meat of the narrative was really more about how Anna learned that she was nearly blind and was finally able to get the help that she needed to see her world and find her own place in that world in the process.

2. I cannot remember how it was that I discovered Ray Bradbury in junior high, but from the moment I first read his stories they were absolutely magical to me. Perhaps I wanted to read the book Something Wicked This Way Comes because I loved watching the movie on HBO. Perhaps I stumbled across a story in an anthology. However it was, finding Bradbury was like opening a treasure chest, but instead of gold and jewels, I found entire new worlds. A friend of mine loaned me a copy of a collection of 100 Bradbury stories and I devoured them - "All Summer in a Day", "Dark They Were, But Golden Eyed", "A Sound of Thunder"...these were the background to my budding adolescence. I used "The October Game" as one of my selections for Prose Reading in Speech competition...my sophomore year, maybe? It brought rooms to a standstill. I still get that feeling of holding something precious when I read one of his books - especially the short story collections, which are like a string of perfect pearls.

3. In high school, it was The Stranger by Camus that spoke to me. I was 16 years old and haunted Babbits Bookstore, looking for well worn treasures in the philosophy section. I was unfussed by the bleakness of Camus' tale and drawn to the idea that we are all ultimately responsible for ourselves and our actions. So I read Camus and Sartre ("No Exit" was the subject of my direction unit for Advanced Acting and Directing my Junior year) and dipped my toes into Kierkegaard and Nietzsche and luxuriated in my own way. Runner up has to go to Close to the Knives by David Wojnarowicz, which fueled my burgeoning sense of outrage about AIDS and interest in gay rights, which was only fitting, since I was pretty much out as bi as of the summer before my Senior year.

4. Ah college. Never have I been able to so immerse myself in words words words. College would be a three way tie, I think (yes, I'm cheating) between The Handmaids Tale which has always been a favorite of mine, The Last Lunar Banneker by Mina Loy - the best poet you've never heard of, and Blood and Guts in High School by Kathy Acker - not so much because it is a favorite that I want to turn to again and again, but because Acker's prose helped me realize that I could stretch the boundaries of the page in my own writing. There are so many other possibilities for this time period, though.

5. Most of what I read now is relatively ephemeral. Lots of series novels that are quickly devoured and the paper discarded; one off thrillers; pop-culture essays. But I turn time and time again to Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman - any of his works, really, but Neverwhere is my favorite, with it's visceral, yet homey, vision of London Below and magic that Richard Mayhew learns to embrace, rather than ignore. Gaiman is one of the few authors, other than Bradbury, that have been able to create that feeling of being entrusted with something delicate and jeweled and precious, just in picking up the book and turning the pages. And I should add that I absolutely adore the introduction of M is for Magic in which he discusses the allusion to Bradbury's R is for Rocket and S is for Space and the conversation he had with R.B. about using the name. It gave me little fangirl shivers.

June 2012

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